Pate Brisee: French for Pastry Dough
Everyone needs a staple pie crust recipe, and this pate brisee is mine. This recipe is a classic French dough that has flour, butter, and a small bit of sugar. Making this recipe perfect for not just pie, but quiche and tarts as well. In a nutshell, it's a crispy flaky dough that is absolutely perfect.
The wildest addition to this recipe is simply a squeeze of lemon to cut through the fat of the butter and eggs. Simplicity is key to any excellent pie crust recipe. The roots of this recipe are French, and being that I went to a French Culinary school it pleases my soul a little bit.
What to Know About Pate Brisee
The butter staying cold before, during, and after is the tricky part. It is what helps make the flaky layers. I get away from touching my butter at all by using an electric-style grater. This could be a food processor or my personal favorite the KitchenAid Grater attachment. This takes away all hand warmth in this step.
If you were to use room-temperature butter the texture just wouldn't be the same. If you were to skip the fridge step, the crust would become greasy. There are certain shortcuts to take, but not trying your hardest to keep that butter/dough cold isn't one to skip.
Making Pie? These May Help...
The most superior pie of all the pies is pumpkin. Hands down, no questions asked. I'm assuming you are making pie if you've made it this far. Now, if you want to make friends with your mother/father-in-law, the neighbors, head of your local HOA, I recommend pairing your pate brisee pie crust with this amazing pumpkin pie recipe plus our homemade whipped cream.
Leftover Pate Brisee?
You can freeze this dough if you end up having extra, or keep it in the fridge for a few days as well. I recommend forming it into a small dish shape, wrapping it in plastic wrap, and then putting that in a plastic bag. This is all to make sure it doesn't get freezer burnt!
Pate Brisee Pie Crust
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter - 2 sticks - super cold
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup Water - Super cold ice water is best
- 1 teaspoon lemon
- Get all the dry ingredients measured and in a large mixing bowl. Set that to the side to hang out for a few minutes.
- In a small bowl separate your egg yolk from the white. We are only keeping the yolk, but feel free to keep the while for an omelet or something tomorrow.
- To your egg yolk add the water and lemon, give it a mix and let it hang out next to your flour bowl.
- Critical step! Make sure your butter is super cold, borderline frozen. Grate it, or cut it into super small pieces. I love using my kitchen aid grater attachment for this if you happen to have one.
- Add the butter into your flour mixture, and using only your fingertips rub the flour into the butter pieces.
- Next, create a well in the middle of your flour and add your water/lemon/egg soup.
- Mix this as little as possible until it just starts to come together. Turn it over onto your countertop and kneed JUST until it forms a ball.
- Lay down a layer of plastic wrap, add your dough and smush it down into a thick circular disk. Finish wrapping it up in plastic (I do a few layers) and chill for at least an hour (or overnight).
Want to take your cooking game to the next level? Here's a list of some of the tools I use every time I make this recipe that help make this a breeze!